Answer Question- please refer to Slide #24 and answer the question pertaining to the Restraining Order and what is HR to do?
Reply to: you agree or disagree and why
1. There are several things HR should do in order to ensure the employee is safe within the workplace due to a restraining order. Under OSHA, the employer is required to provide a safe workplace, this includes domestic violence or threats that may exist at work (Violence: Order of Protection, SHRM, 2020). If HR is aware of this restraining order, then they need to act on it by asking the employee what they can do to help by discussing potential options or reasonable accommodations. This could include relocating the employee’s office or allowing them to work a more flexible schedule. HR could help maintain documentation especially if the person who is under the restraining order tries to call, email or visit the workplace. Security could also be put into place if the employee feels they need more protection. Helping the employee and discussing options is an efficient way to avoid potential problems within the workplace.
- According to the SHRM article “When Domestic Violence Comes to Work,” Janice Santiago, an employment advocate at Women Helping Battered Women, states that “ignorance of the issue is no longer an excuse for employers… we really have to work on the workplace culture around this issue, so employees will not be afraid or embarrassed to tell HR about domestic violence concerns, and provided the flexibility to deal with the issue.” As HR we have an important role to play. This role should be providing support for their employees, while still maintain privacy and confidentiality. According to the Cambridge Public Health Department, if an employee reveals that he or she is in an abusive relationship HR should: communicate their concerns for their employee’s safety, tell the employee that they believe them, refer the employee to an Employee Assistance Program, be clear that their role is to help and not to judge, and consult with security staff if there is a concern about workplace safety. Reference: https://www.shrm.org/resourcesandtools/hr-topics/risk-management/pages/domestic-violence-workplace-nfl-ray-rice.aspx
Watch and answer question- please watch the video on Slide #25 and respond to the questions on the same slide. Is it workplace Violence? Did HR do the right thing? What would you have done differently?
Reply to: you agree or disagree and why
1. Your overall thoughts? 2. How did HR handle the situation? What would you have done differently? 3. How does this end?
I think HR could have been handled this situation better. First, he clearly already looked upset upon walking in and instead of immediately starting with telling him about what happened in the morning, she should have asked him if there were personal or work-related issues going on that were impacting his ability to work and his behavior. The point is to try and diffuse the situation and not make it worse which is what I think the HR rep unintentionally did here. She also should have gotten a written report from the woman from the parking lot instead of just saying she’d take care of the situation. Having documentation will help if a legal issue comes up. Additionally, I might not have brought up his work performance right then. He was clearly upset and agitated and talking about that in that moment made the situation worse. It seems from the video that he was retrieving something from his car that would cause harm to the employees in the workplace. Ideally, this situation would have ended with a plan in place to have him seek help so he could manage the issues going on in his life and apologizing for his behavior.
STUDENT RESPONSE #2
- My first thought after watching the video is, did this company have a disruptive behavior and workplace violence prevention policy? It’s the company’s role to maintain a respectful, safe, harassment-free work environment for all their employees and there should be zero-tolerance against engaging in verbal abuse or physical actions that create a security hazard or uncomfortable environment. I think that the man’s behavior in the video could be looked at as disruptive and may potentially turn violent. HR seemed to handle the situation too lightly and should have investigated further into it before confronting the employee. I also think that there should have been documentation of the occurrence with a disciplinary action to keep on file. I did think that HR jumping on the problem quickly was a good method to follow-up on his actions, but there are clear warning signs that this issue may be riskier. The manager should have also looked into why he was behaving so differently than usual, because she could have recommended additional help. I think this scenario will end with the employee snapping and engaging in workplace violence, which is why it’s important to recognize indicators of potential violent behavior (ie: emotionally unstable or outbursts).